Yuki Shimoda

Name Yuki Shimoda
Born August 10 1921
Died May 21 1981
Birth Location Sacramento
Generational Identifier


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Pioneering Nisei actor. Yuki Shimoda (1921–81) was one of the first Japanese American actors to attain mainstream success after World War II both on Broadway and in film and television roles. Born and raised in Sacramento, California, he and his family were incarcerated at Tule Lake during the war. Shimoda left camp during the resettlement period, choosing Chicago, where he attended Northwestern University, graduating with an accounting degree. Interested in acting since he was a child, he decided to move to New York to pursue his dream and worked on Broadway first in Teahouse of the August Moon , then in a major role in Auntie Mame from 1956 to 1958. He moved to Los Angeles for the movie version of the latter and remained there, working regularly in movies and television and co-starring in the TV series Johnny Midnight in 1960. He was active in the Asian American entertainment community is Los Angeles and starred in two landmark films depicting the Japanese American experience, Hito Hata: Raise the Banner (1980), as well as a 1977 episode of the Wonder Woman TV show that had a Japanese American incarceration subplot. He died of cancer in Los Angles in 1981. He was the subject of the biographical short film Yuki Shimoda: Asian American Actor (1985).

Authored by Brian Niiya , Densho

Last updated Jan. 16, 2024, 1:34 a.m..